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London region sees 7 new COVID-19 cases amid louder calls for improved safety in elder care

Posted: May 22, 2020

(May 1, 2020)

CBC News

London regional health authorities added seven new coronavirus cases Friday, bringing the area’s total to 409.

One new death was also reported Friday, bringing the number of fatalities up to 38.

The woman in her 80s was not a resident of an eldercare facility where the vast majority of the community’s 184 active coronavirus cases continue to fester among staff and the vulnerable seniors who live there.

The London-Middlesex Health Unit said Friday that of the 77 active cases in long-term care facilities across the region, 49 residents and 27 staff have been infected. Fifteen people have died.

Retirement homes have fared slightly better with 44 active cases affecting 32 residents and 12 staff, as well as five deaths.

As of Thursday, the London region had 10 COVID-19 outbreaks, almost all of them among eldercare facilities. Provincewide, there are currently 198 outbreaks in long-term care and retirement facilities where the density of physically frail and vulnerable seniors is higher.

On Friday, an Ontario health care advocacy group is organizing a day of action to call for improved conditions at the province’s long-term care and retirement homes.

The Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) says the Ford government must improve access to COVID-19 testing, personal protective equipment (PPE) and create safer working conditions at the facilities.

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